So I was reading an article recently called the 2018 Top 100 Best Places to Live, and it got me thinking. 'How many of these Best Places to Live currently have non league soccer clubs in them?'
Naturally, I spent way too much time looking into it. What follows is a breakdown of which of these cities has team, what league it's in, and how many cities, by state, don't have a team.
UPSL, 15: Charlottesville, VA, Madison, WI, Fort Collins, CO, Boulder, CO, Lincoln, NE, Charleston, SC, Redwood City, CA, Newport Beach, CA, Boise, ID, Salt Lake City, UT, Irvine, CA, Provo, UT, Littleton, CO, Lakewood, CO, Ann Arbor, MI
NPSL, 12: Ann Arbor, MI, Charlottesville, VA, Rochester, MN, Davis, CA, Asheville, NC, Greenville, SC, Boca Raton, FL, West Lafayette, IN, Sioux Falls, SD, West Hartford, CT, Fargo, ND, Irvine, CA
PDL, 7: East Lansing, MI, Johnson City, TN, Portland, ME, Boca Raton, FL, Cincinnati, OH,
Eugene, OR, Santa Cruz, CA,
Right now, 34 of the Top 100 Best Places to Live have an non league team. UPSL leads with 15, and Charlottesville, VA, is the only city that has two teams, one in the UPSL and one in the NPSL. That leaves 66 hoping for some soccer. Those are helpfully broken down for you by state. The states with the most 'unclaimed' places are at the top, descending to a long list of states with one place.
Unclaimed By State
CA: Palo Alto, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, Berkley, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA, San Rafael, CA, San Mateo, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, Alameda, CA, Walnut Creek, CA, Santa Monica, CA, Burlingame, CA,
Pasadena, CA, Novato, CA, Huntington Beach, CA, Mountain View, CA, Fullerton, CA
IL: Evanston, IL, Downers Grove, IL, Wheaton, IL, Elmhurst, IL, Champaign, IL, Oak Park, IL, Naperville, IL
WA: Pullman, WA, Kirkland, WA, Bellevue, WA, Olympia, WA, Bellingham, WA, Redmond, WA
FL: Gainesville, FL, Tallahassee, FL, Coral Gables, FL, Sarasota, FL, Miami Beach, FL
MA: Cambridge, MA, Newton, MA, Brookline, MA, Framingham, MA
KS: Manhattan, KS, Lawrence, KS, Overland Park, KS
PA: Pittsburgh, PA, State College, PA
VA: Arlington, VA, Blacksburg, VA
NY: Ithaca, NY, White Plains, NY
MT: Missoula, MT, Bozeman, MT
ND: Bismarck, ND, Grand Forks, ND
OR: Corvallis, OR, Ashland, OR
IA: Iowa City, IA, Ames, IA
MO: Columbia, MO,
NC: Chapel Hill, NC
VT: Burlington, VT
IN: Bloomington, IN
TX: College Station, TX
WV: Morgantown, WV
AZ: Scottsdale, AZ
KY: Lexington, KY
ID: Moscow, ID
MN: Edina, MN
WY: Laramie, WY
OH: Oxford, OH
SD: Brookings, SD
MD: Rockville, MD
AL: Auburn, AL
TN: Franklin, TN
As you can see, there are 16 cities in California that don't have non league teams. That's enough to start their own league if they wanted. The biggest surprise for me is the fact that Kansas has 3 cities, and North Dakota and Montana have 2 each.
I'm not trying to say that there is a correlation between the success of a team and the city it's located in, but I do hope this will help people looking to start teams, and leagues looking to accept them, to understand at least a little better the potential of the city to support soccer, especially when you consider the Ranking Criteria.
So get on starting those teams in Laramie, Wyoming and Ames, Iowa! You just might be a city that has everything it needs to help your club succeed.